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Summer Property Improvements That Add Value

While summer is a perfect time of year to relax and unwind, it is also a time to be active. If you are the sort of person who doesn’t carry out essential jobs in winter or spring because the weather is miserable, you cannot avoid the jobs any longer. Summer is perfect for getting outside of the house and carrying out work, or to take care of tasks that enhance your home.

There is never a wrong time of year to add value to your home, but ask yourself, when would you rather be outside your home? Is winter the best time to fix your windows and roof, or are these jobs that are better completed in summer?

You’ll receive most benefit of this work in winter, but by carrying out these tasks in summer, you can avoid the hardship of a damp and miserable home in winter. At Fortess Homes, we want you to enjoy your home as best we can, and here are some property improvements that add value to your house.

Improve your windows

If there are cracks or gaps in your windows or window frames, your home life can seem miserable. Warm air escapes, costing you money on your heating bills, and cold air enters, cooling your home further. If rain gets in through these gaps and cracks, your home can suffer.

Therefore, it is essential you maintain a high standard of ventilation at home, and improving your windows is a vital part of the process. It is best to do this in summer because you are most likely to have pleasant weather and temperatures, which means the work can continue unabated.

Get your roof checked

If you have a roof at your home, you want to ensure it is in excellent condition. When your roof is intact, your home has a much better chance of being well looked after. If your roof is in poor condition, you may find that life is cold, damp and off-putting.

Most people prefer to call on an expert to review their roof. If you are not comfortable with heights, if you don’t have the equipment or you are not sure what to look out for in finding signs of possible problems with your roof, it is best to leave this work to the experts.

Carrying out roofing checks and repairs in summer is sensible as you can get the job done quicker, and you can have the work completed before the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Review the outside of your home

Continuing the importance of insulation at home, be sure to review the exterior of your home. If there are any cracks or gaps in your walls, these should be filled or repaired during the summer months.

The benefits of adequate insulation cannot be stated highly enough, and this should be a priority for all homeowners. If you are selling your home, insulation makes a difference to how appealing your home is, but even if you don’t intend to sell your home soon, the standard of insulation influences the value of your house.

If you are looking to sell your London home, get in touch with Fortess Homes, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Slow Broadband Hampers Property Sales

Many factors influence what buyers are willing to pay for property, and it is helpful for vendors to understand these aspects. When you make your home more appealing to buyers, you improve the chances of making a sale and for selling at the best price. Some issues are common sense, such as space, but some features that buyers want to benefit from may be slightly surprising.

A recent study undertaken by an online property market specialist suggests broadband speed significantly impacts the price of a property. Properties in an area with a slow broadband speed sell for less than homes in areas where the broadband is dependable. The survey goes as far as to suggest as low speeds can result in a quarter of the house price being lost.

Is your broadband up to speed?

The study showed houses with the slowest broadband speeds sold at £182,983 while properties with the fastest broadband speed sold at £240,031. The lower prices were 24% lower than, the faster broadband speeds, which is something to consider if you intend on selling your home soon.

The slowest broadband speed in the country, according to this study, is less than 1 Mbps. With the UK average broadband speed being 46.2, this is a significant drop-off. The street with the slowest recorded broadband is Poplar Avenue in Oldham, which registered a rate of 0.221 Mbps. Houses in this street cost 8.7% less than similar streets which boasted of a more dependable speed. Other areas where notably slow broadband speeds coincided with low house prices include Tring and Glasgow.

Sam Mitchell is a Chief Executive Officer of the company who carried out the research, and he said; “Broadband is now considered the fourth utility after water, gas and electricity, such is our reliance on a fast internet connection at home for everyday tasks such as food shopping and watching the television. And having a fiendishly slow internet connection at home can really affect the saleability of a house.”

It is important to remember that broadband is no longer a luxury; as Sam states, it is the fourth utility. Buyers wouldn’t accept homes with a terrible water supply or unreliable gas or electricity. Therefore, it isn’t a massive leap to state buyers no longer take unreliable broadband connectivity.

List your property’s best features

If you live in an area that benefits from high-speed and reliable broadband, make this a key selling point of your house. Include this information in your property listing, and make sure prospective buyers are aware of this important feature. Vendors should use every advantage they can, and reliable broadband connectivity is an essential feature for many buyers.

If you plan on selling your home soon and your broadband isn’t reliable, consider upgrading to a better option if you can. If you can show it is possible to achieve better quality broadband, you may minimise the risks of selling your home for a lower fee.

At Fortess Homes, we understand the property market. We know what is essential to buyers, and we can help you present your house effectively. If you are looking to sell your London home, get in touch, and we’ll be happy to assist you.




Start To End: How Long To Buy A Home?

Buying or selling a property is a stressful occasion in a person’s life. Having a home is such an integral component of people’s lives, that when a change in your residency occurs, it becomes the most significant issue in your life. When you add in the financial aspects associated with a property transaction, it is natural people want the ordeal to conclude as quickly as possible.

However, property deals take time. There is a lot of money at stake, and there are many legal issues to resolve. While vendors and buyers wish for a faster resolution to property deals, matters must proceed correctly. A new survey suggests that the buying process, from searching online to moving into the house, takes six months and 24 days.

Many people feel stressed during a property move

This is a long time, over half a year, and it is no wonder that many people feel stressed during the process. Exchanging contracts is the most time-consuming part of the process. The study, undertaken by Matterport, suggests that in some cases, exchanging contracts takes up to 25 months. The average time for contracts to be transferred was five months and ten days.

The average buyer examines more than 16 homes online, spending an average of just under 20 hours on this process. Arranging and waiting for viewings takes four days, on average, and then the buyer takes an average of four and a half days to place an offer on the house after inspecting.

The study suggests the average buyer views a home three times before placing an offer on it. If you are a vendor looking to sell a house on first viewing, you may need to rethink your expectations. Again, given the importance of property transactions, it shouldn’t be a surprise that buyers want to rethink their options. You should also expect interested parties to bring friends or family members to help them view a property.

Once the deal has been agreed, it takes an average of 24 days for the mortgage offer to be secured, and then an additional three days to have legal representation on board. After the exchange of contracts, it usually takes around nine days for the transfer of keys, and then the buyer can move into their house.

Understand the rough timeline of property deals

On average, adults view their future home three times before putting an offer down and take three friends or family members with them to help make the decision, then once the purchase is agreed, a further 24 days are needed to secure a mortgage offer, and three days to get a solicitor on board. After exchanging contracts, the buyer can collect keys around nine days later.

James Morris-Manuel is the EMEA vice president of Matterport, and he spoke about the survey, saying; “While the idea of moving somewhere new is thrilling, the reality can be very different, especially when solicitors appear to be dragging their feet, chains break down, and viewings take longer than expected to arrange. Even viewing a home can be irritating. Having to fit in with the owner’s timing and requirements, not being close enough to view a property as often as you’d wish, and then wanting to revisit when a decision has been made.”

At Fortess Homes, we know the stress and challenges involved with property deals. If you’re looking to buy or sell, you need help from experts, and we are more than happy to assist you, so get in touch.

Are Low Carbon Upgrades Better For Landlords and Tenants?

Most landlords accept offering an energy efficient rental property is essential. MEES and EPC regulations present limitations that landlords must adhere to, so it is best to make improvements around the rental property.

Analysis by Energy Systems Catapult has reviewed the best standard of low carbon heating upgrades, and where they are suitable for homes across the United Kingdom. This style of an update is a cost-effective way of creating a home environment that welcomes tenants and helps landlords to run their business efficiently.

Landlords should be aware that change is coming, not just to the rental industry, but across the UK. A report from the Committee on Climate Change recommends several changes around the home. These improvements include adopting low carbon heating systems, which include heat pumps, hydrogen boilers and district heating. The UK needs to reduce its level of carbon emissions to zero in the next 30 years, and these recommendations are at the heart of this move.

With the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act now in effect, landlords must be aware of the need to provide a high standard of rental accommodation. Research indicates two-thirds of homes in the UK suffer from overheating, dampness or draft problems. If these problems occur in rental property, tenants can sue landlords, and there are significant penalties in place.

Richard Halsey is the Director of Capabilities at Energy Systems Catapult, and he released a statement about this situation, saying; “To meet 2050 climate change targets we must eliminate the 20% of UK carbon emissions that come from heating homes, which means in the next decade we will need to be converting millions of homes to low carbon heating every year. This will be much easier if the solutions provide households with heating outcomes that are better than what they have today.”

Heating systems are tipped as a viable solution. Anything which helps tenants reduce their energy bill, and to see how these costs rise is a positive thing. It never hurts to be more informed about expenses, and if it has a positive impact on the environment at the same time, all the better.

Unsurprisingly, homeowners who have already tried out innovative technology around the home have indicated a preference for trying further innovations and technology products. Richard Halsey continued by saying; “Our research has previously found that 85% of households that trialled smart heating controls, were open to switching to low carbon technology, compared to just 36% of the general population, as long as current or improved levels of comfort and cost could be guaranteed.”

There is no denying that technology is evolving rapidly, and there are opportunities for homeowners, and landlords, to benefit from adapting to these new measures. Being a landlord can be time-consuming and challenging, so anything which makes the process simpler has to be of benefit.

If you are a London landlord looking for help or assistance in letting property, contact Fortess Homes, and we’ll be happy to assist.